Interval Show #11: Rewiring Your Appetite Hormones

The Primal Endurance podcast Interval shows are published in between our full-length feature episodes published on Fridays. For the Interval episodes, podcast host Brad Kearns discusses various elements of the Primal Endurance approach, pulling from topics in the book/digital course and adding some candid and fresh insights. The Interval shows will keep you focused and purposeful with all of your workouts and lifestyle decisions.

Once you are fat adapted, you can fine-tune your insulin sensitivity and fat adaptation by engaging in Intermittent Fasting and fasted workouts. When you get depleted and experience true hunger, realize that this offers a powerful opportunity to rewire appetite hormones to escape sugar dependency and become more fat adapted. 

When the prominent hunger hormone ghrelin spikes and you reward yourself with a sweet treat, you hard-wire the connection between pleasure (spikes of dopamine and opioids) and the sugar. If you instead try to fast a bit and/or satisfy your hunger with a high fat food, you can actually alter the neural mediation of food reward. Warning – don’t try this at home unless you are full-on fat adapted and can actually benefit from fasting and fine-tuning without sugar crashing. 

The cellular stress of fasting triggers mitochondrial biogenesis. So does ketogenic eating, because fat and ketones utilize more mitochondria and burn more cleanly than glucose. Fasting and ketogenic eating also boost health with a profound anti-inflammatory effect, and also promoting improved autophagy – cell repair and regeneration. In contrast, overfeeding and routinely eating regular meals to the point of overfeeding can accelerate cell division, which is the essence of accelerated aging. 

The psychological effect of becoming fat adapted/ketogenic can help endurance athletes to not obsess about caloric needs during performance. Enjoy trippy Johnny G anecdotes about long rides on no food in old times.  It can help those struggling with dieting and calorie obsession to become liberated from negative emotional connections to eating, because they are no longer physically dependent upon regular meals. 

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